Israel's Delek gets temporary injunction against foreign bank

JERUSALEM, March 15 (Reuters) – Israeli energy firm Delek Group, which has been hard hit by the sharp drop in oil prices, won a temporary court injunction on Sunday against a foreign bank seeking to sell shares in Delek units to cover a loan payment.

The bank, identified by Israeli media as Citi, called in a $57 million loan owed by Delek which was not paid on time, and is now seeking to sell a 15% stake in its Delek Drilling unit, pledged as collateral.

The court gave the bank until March 17 to respond. A spokeswoman for Citi, which has given loans to Delek but has not confirmed it is the bank in the court case, declined to comment.

In a regulatory filing in Tel Aviv, Delek said it could not make the payment due to “force majeure”, as the coronavirus and a steep drop in oil prices amid a struggle between Russia and Saudi Arabia have jolted global markets.

Shares in Delek, which have plummeted 82% in March, were up 12.2% in midday trade. (Reporting by Steven Scheer Editing by Tova Cohen, Kirsten Donovan and Peter Graff)

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